Arthritis is a condition that targets joints and results in pain, tenderness, and inflammation. The two types of arthritis are osteoarthritis, a result of wear and tear, and rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease. Medication can manage both types of arthritis, but adding these nine home remedies to your wellness routine will result in greater comfort and flexibility.
1. Weight control
Extra weight is known to affect many body parts, particularly joints that are already diseased. The excess pressure contributed by extra weight will exacerbate the pain and tenderness in your hips, knees, and feet. Being overweight often leads to a negative body image, depression, and anxiety.
Your primary care physician or rheumatologist can help you determine your ideal weight and craft a weight-loss plan to reach and maintain that goal. Losing excess weight will increase your mobility, decrease the pain, and slow the progression of joint damage.
Another way to strengthen your joints while preventing further damage is organic collagen powder. Your body will use this hydrolyzed collagen as a defense to future tissue damage.
Exercise is a crucial component of a weight control plan. It also keeps arthritic joints flexible and provides strength to the surrounding muscles.
As with weight control, discuss this with your medical professional and, if possible, obtain a referral to a trainer with experience in joint strengthening. Low-impact exercises such as walking, swimming, and cycling are good options. Tai chi, often referred to as meditation in motion, is another low-impact choice and involves slow movements and breaths.
3. Hot and cold therapy
Both heat and cold applications can help with arthritis’s pain and inflammation. Several over-the-counter topical creams and ointments can be applied directly to the painful area.
Hot treatments include a warm shower in the morning to loosen up the joints and a heating pad or electric blanket in the evening to ease the pain.
Cold treatments, such as an ice pack wrapped in a towel, provide a prompt reduction in joint pain.
Acupuncture, a popular form of Chinese medicine, involves inserting skinny needles through the skin at specific body points. The intended outcome is to bring the body’s energy flow back to normal.
Acupuncture relieves pain, particularly in the neck, back, and knees. It is considered an alternative or complementary health treatment, and insurance will often cover the treatments. However, it is vital to choose a qualified acupuncturist, so ask your doctor and friends for referrals.
People with arthritis are more susceptible to mental health issues, such as depression and anxiety, due to chronic pain and the inability to control it. These mental health issues can negatively impact quality of life that is already compromised due to arthritis pain.
Mindfulness meditation is a useful tool for reducing the stress, anxiety, and depression brought on by arthritis’s chronic pain. Yoga is also valuable as it merges meditation with low-impact exercise, much like tai chi that we mentioned earlier.
6. Healthy diet
Diets known for their anti-inflammatory properties, such as the Mediterranean diet, benefit people suffering from chronic arthritis. Foods featured in most anti-inflammatory diets include the following ingredients.
· Fresh fruits and vegetables are full of cell-protecting antioxidants and help stabilize the body’s natural defense system. Studies have show than many red and purple fruits also have anti-inflammatory properties.
· Many types of fresh fish contain omega-3 fatty acids, which are known to be inflammation fighters. Salmon and tuna are two examples.
· Beans, such as kidney and pinto beans, are high sources of antioxidants and other anti-inflammatory properties.
· Olive oil contains healthy fats and is known to aid with inflammation and pain reduction.
Foods for arthritis sufferers to avoid are red meats, sugar and salt-laden foods, most processed foods, and saturated fats.
Turmeric is a popular and delicious Indian spice. It contains the chemical curcumin, a natural anti-inflammatory compound that eases arthritis’s inflammation and pain. Another documented benefit of curcumin is its ability to treat depression. Studies have determined that curcumin can be as effective as an antidepressant such as Prozac.
You can ingest turmeric in several ways. The most flavorful, of course, is to add it to food. Although most Indian foods contain turmeric, this yummy spice can pair up with just about anything.
If you would prefer to drink your spice, Golden Milk is a delicious Indian drink that consists of milk (cow or plant-based), turmeric, and other spices such as ginger or cinnamon.
And finally, turmeric can be taken in pill or capsule form. There are many to choose from, so consulting with your medical professional would be helpful.
A massage is another intervention that can provide both physical and emotional benefits. Physically, a massage increases blood circulation, which, in turn, reduces inflammation. As a result, chronic pain decreases while the ability to move increases. Although a full-body, moderate pressure massage is ideal, self-massage to the painful area is useful.
Emotionally, massage can reduce anxiety and increase the production of serotonin, a mood-enhancing hormone. Further, pain reduction’s physical benefit also positively affects the depression and anxiety experienced by most arthritis sufferers.
9. Herbal supplements
Herbal supplements are not medically proven arthritis treatments. However, many are known for reducing pain and inflammation and may be worth a try. Always speak with your medical professional before taking a supplement to ensure that it does not have harmful side effects or should not be taken with your other medications.
A few specific herbal supplements that may be helpful include the following.
· Boswellia, also called Indian frankincense, is known for its anti-inflammatory properties.
· Bromelain is another herb used to ease inflammation and swelling.
· Ginkgo, a leaf from the ginkgo Biloba tree, increases circulation and, as a result, lessens inflammation.
· Capsaicin is a component of chili peppers and is a proven pain reliever.
Along with these nine non-medical remedies for arthritis, consider joining a local support group for people living with arthritis. Connecting with others who truly know how you feel can provide the emotional boost missing from your treatment plan.